Yigal Azrouël, who recently set up shop in Water Mill, New York, knows how to hang tenboth on a surfboard and, increasingly, on the runway. Over the past few seasons the charmingly laid-back Azrouël has focused on the "lived-in" look. This, it turns out, has nothing to do with vintage and everything to do with the comfort that comes from, say, a well-broken-in pair of jeans or a leather softened through a special process of washing and finishing.
Azrouël is at his most effective when his clothes look like they could have been nicked from the models' own closets, and these were in the majority this season. The weathered batik pieces effectively introduced a print element, and there were great pantsfrom a seamed paperweight leather and cotton style to shrunken and tapered denimto pair with a number of strong jackets. Some of Azrouël's more ambitious experiments in draping, especially for evening (as well as a not-quite-Rudi Gernreich swimsuit ensemble), fell a bit flat. The real flow didn't come from the cascades and ruffles, but from the unpretentious ease of his singular brand of wash-and-wear.